YEP Letters: February 19

Check out today’s YEP letters

City centre parking should be cut

DS Boyes, Leeds 13

I might be a minority of one but I believe that reducing car parking in central Leeds is the way forward, to a time when all private cars will be barred from entry.

As the car population grows, road space in central Leeds diminishes due to pedestrianisation and bus lanes etc. I can remember being able to park free on Bond Street on Saturdays, but that was 54 years ago. Also being able to park free when working on Mabgate, but that was 34 years ago. Times have change since then. On air quality alone, central Leeds needs to be virtually vehicle-free, with just buses, taxis or private hire vehicles allowed in, deliveries restricting to time slots of early morning and early evening.

However, the key to this has always been and always will be a proper integrated public transport system. Something that Leeds has yet to achieve.

Empower women to make own choices

J D Adams, Leeds

Aisha Iqbal refers to modern society as the “woefully regressive status quo” (YEP, February 9), but offers little of substance to back up her claim.

She points to the gender pay gap, as if it is self-evident – when in fact it’s an appalling red herring, full of blunt averages that tell us nothing about whether there’s any actual discrimination at play. She says it’s a problem that women want to star in their own reality show rather than run their own business – conveniently forgetting that women are making those choices for themselves.

One of the thoughts that seems to underpin all this is a desire for statistical equality, where women and men are equally represented, in all fields, all the time.

But the problem with wanting statistical equality is that sooner or later you have to start interfering with people’s own free choices, you have to start social engineering to hit your quota of female engineers. Strange, because telling women what they should be doing, or earning, or thinking is what I thought we were supposed to be leaving behind.

More and more women are being told to think of themselves as victims, as oppressed, as needing protection or extra help.

The truth is women in the West have never been more free or capable: they can do or be anything they want; they outperform men in every tier of education; an extraordinary 30,000 more women than men started degree courses in the UK last autumn. That all sounds far away from the misleading hyperbole of a “woefully regressive status quo”.

Above all, we should empower women to make their own choices, as individuals, not as representatives of a group. And yes, even when those choices don’t align with what a particular ideology might prefer they were doing.

Oxfam scandal ‘outrageous’

Dick Lindley, Altofts

THE recent revelations about Oxfam personnel in Haiti and Chad using our hard-earned cash to obtain sexual favours from starving people is outrageous in the extreme.

Even worse is the fact that these incidents were well known within this organisation for several years before they chose tell their contributors and the Government.

Indeed had their atrocious behaviour not been exposed in the press, we may never have known and happily continued donating our money to assist in the propagation of this revolting behaviour.

Now would be a good time to close down our foreign aid budget and use all the money saved to provide the British people with a decent level of health care within the NHS, instead of frittering it away 
in countries where its distribution and usage is obviously corrupt.

Commission is ‘toothless’

Jack Nicol, Otley.

THE Oxfam revelations confirm what I have long suspected – the Charity Commission is totally toothless when it comes to the wealthier charities and only interested in making life difficult for small voluntary organisations if they make an innocent mistake. Do others agree?

Remain voters in state of denial

Mrs J Green, Leeds

In reply to John Appleyard’s letter (YEP, February 13) concerning Oliver Letwin’s book “Hearts and Minds”.

The book, part memoir and part political history is about his life as an MP in Westminster, and as expected it is about Oliver Letwin, nothing else. However John Appleyard manages to equate this with Conservative party infighting, and his claim that the Government are ignoring the electorate. All of which turns out to be his opening gambit for another another go at the Government and Brexit. So predictable.

Regrettably the Remain voters are still in a state of denial. Considering that the UK has voted to leave and the procedures to do so are untested, reasonably one would think that negotiations would be difficult enough without the constant drip of venom and visions of hell from the Remainers, also others who hope and dream that the negotiations will fail due to their interference and we shall then return to the old status quo within the EU.

The EU are showing themselves to be the bullies demanding more money and obedience even when we leave. In fact now many are of the view that we should be stating our case more forcefully.

No deal could work, but a deal with the assurances and backing of all the parties working together in a democratic UK would work much better.

The real issues about the state of the UK the NHS, housing, schools and services is a huge problem to tackle, one which the Labour Party should have prevented during their 14 years in government, instead of leaving us with nothing but debt. In tandem with the Brexit talks those problems mean a lot of long, hard legal and political consideration, time and care is required to achieve the desired results for all concerned about those issues.

What the real tragedy for Britain would be is if ever Labour led by Corbyn and McDonnell and Watson ever came into power. EU or not, they will ruin this country.

Remember the 1970s under Labour, the strikes, blackouts and three day working weeks? It would be far worse than that.

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